Botswana 5-THEBE (KM26)

Red-billed Hornbill

It seems very likely that this is a Red-billed Hornbill. There are about six hornbill species resident in Botswana and the Red-billed Hornbill most closely resembles our friend on the 5-thebe coin. I had previously thought this was a Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, but it was pointed out to me that the tail more closely matches the pattern of the Red-billed species. Also, it seems the Yellow has a thicker beak (it is known as the 'flying banana'), and the Red has a slightly thinner beak as depicted on the coin.

Both hornbills belong to the genus tockus, which probably accounts for it being misattributed by the Krause catalogue (and subsequently many coin collectors) as a "Toko" bird.

This smaller 7-sided version replaced the original round Hornbill 5-thebe in 1998.

17 mm
Bronze-clad steel
Catalogue #
Obverse Legend
Reverse Legend

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